The door slammed behind me, muffling his roar. Maybe I could no longer hear him at that moment, but I would probably hear him later because it was certainly not the last time we were going to have this conversation, if you could even call it that. Most conversations I have do not include faces red with fury, the slamming of hands on the walls and tables, spit from angrily enunciating words while shouting, and only one person vocalizing their thoughts while the other shrinks into their seat. Most conversations do not look like this, except for the conversations I have been having with him lately.
“Where are you going?” my sister asked from the stairwell as I powered down the hall.
“Out,” I replied tersely, grabbing my car keys and slamming the front door behind me.
No amount of doors slammed could quell the rage that I had to suppress while he had verbally torn me apart.
Tobacco and spearmint lingered on my tongue, and I touched my lips, smiling as I remembered why. With my other hand, I twisted the key in the lock and opened the front door. I froze in fear when I saw a figure standing in the stairwell, but then I realized who it was and relaxed, although annoyance quickly replaced that feeling.
“It’s past 11. Where have you been?”
“Out,” I stated.
“An eleven PM curfew means you have to be here at eleven, not leave where you are at eleven,” she explained, irritated.
“I lost track of time.”
“Who were you with?”
Exasperated, I threw my hands up in the air. “I already told you!”
“Don’t raise your voice at me. Remind me.”
“Marisa…the usual,” I explained, struggling to level my voice.
“Where did you go?” she inquired.
“Dunkin, Starbucks, whatever was open.”
“Those places close at ten. What did you do for an hour?”
I narrowed my eyes at her. “I’m going to my room,” I replied, shrugging past her and heading up the stairs.
“Answer my question!” she yelled after me.
“We were outside. I’ll make you an itinerary next time,” I said, slamming my bedroom door behind me.
My bedroom door burst open and she stormed in, leering down at me as I lay in bed.
“Good morning,” I sarcastically greeted her, sitting up.
“What does this mean?!” she asked, desperation evident in her voice as she threw papers onto my lap.
I briskly shuffled through them and then calmly met her watery stare. “Where did you find these?”
“Well, I don’t know what they mean,” I replied, handing them back to her.
“Is this who you are?” she asked shrilly.
“No. I don’t know.”
“What do you mean you ‘don’t know?’” she shrieked.
“I don’t know!” I yelled, tossing off my blanket and standing up. “I told you everything I know!”
She challenged me with her eyes for a few beats before turning and storming out of my room, slamming the bedroom door shut behind her.
I slowly opened my bedroom door, and we tentatively emerged from behind it. My heart pounded as she looked down at us from the stairs that led to her master bedroom. She spoke sternly and carefully. After a brief interrogation, she dismissed us with a threat to call the police if I bring the woman beside me home again, and she informed me that we were going to discuss this later. As per usual, there probably wouldn’t be too much discussion. Numbly, I nodded, and then we raced down the stairs, seeking out safety in my car.
She leaned over the middle barrier in the car and tilted her head up toward me, smiling. “Alright, well I have to head home, but text me when you get home.”
I nodded and leaned the rest of the way to kiss her awaiting lips. When she pulled away, she smiled at me, causing my heart to flutter. She looked out the windshield and started talking animatedly about our weekend plans, but then she paused.
“Hold on,” she said, her eyebrows furrowing as she focused on the rearview mirror. “What’s that?”
I looked at where she was pointing. Behind the rearview mirror was a small, black microphone. My heart raced as realization struck.
“Can I pull it down?” she asked. I silently nodded in acquiesce.
She turned the microphone over in her hands, raising it closer to her eyes. “I don’t know if this is a recording device, or if it’s just part of your car.”
“I don’t know. My dad regularly works on the car, so I don’t know.”
She put it back behind the rearview mirror and looked at me. “I’ll take a look at it more closely tomorrow when I see you. Try to relax for now.”
I tersely nodded. She lifted her hand to my cheek, cupped it and pulled me toward her for a last goodbye kiss. I didn’t enjoy this one as much as the one before. “It’ll be okay,” she murmured. “Text me.”
Then she opened the door and climbed out of my car.
I reluctantly got into the passenger side of my car. He wanted to take a drive with me to get gas, which was thoughtful but I knew he had an ulterior motive.
We rode in silence for ten minutes, and after he told the gas attendant to fill it up, he began his speech.
“I don’t understand you anymore,” he confessed, looking over at me sadly.
I met his eyes and replied, “I’m just not hiding anymore, but I’m the same.”
He shook his head. “No, you hid from us for years.”
“There was never a reason to bring it up.”
“You could’ve brought up that you were struggling.”
“I needed to figure things out for myself.”
The attendant returned to the driver’s side mirror, and my dad handed him cash. We sat in silence while the worker counted the change and handed it to back to my dad. My dad restarted the ignition and pulled out of the station, heading home.
© 2016, 2018 Vic Romero
In honor of Pride Month, which has passed but…I thought I’d share regardless.
I’m feeling…a little gloomy I guess. For the most part, I’m feeling positive but…there’s a twinge of sadness mixed in there too.
I had an intense and difficult conversation with my girlfriend last night and now I’m thinking about how to…improve some things in my life. Right now, it’s not at the forefront of my mind because there are some awesome things that are happening before I would have to address the things that I spoke about with my girlfriend. For example, tomorrow I’m presenting my thesis at a state conference for Women’s and Gender Studies! So I’m more focused on that right now, but once that and a few other things are over, I’ll have to resume determining how to make things better.
The things I’d like to improve are in regards to the relationship between my girlfriend and my family, which I’ve mentioned several times before. The relationship between them is not hostile, but it’s not exactly warm either…and we’ll be dating for a year in 11 days. Plus I’m moving home in about 30 days so things can’t stay as they are right now because if they do, my mental health will suffer. This is why I’m going to develop a plan with my therapist in about two weeks to help me navigate the tension in a manner that will ultimately serve my well-being.
I got into a horrible fight with my mom on the last day of spring break. She had gotten back from a difficult medical seminar and she was trying to relax at home when I came downstairs from my bedroom to sit with her and my sister. It was late, around 10:30pm, and they were planning the family trip to Disney to celebrate my graduation.
I was joking with my sister and mentioned how I was turning twenty-three this year, which prompted my mom to ask me what I am doing with my life. Assuming she was joking too, I responded that I don’t know (which is pretty true though). For some reason, this response instigated the fight, which was essentially about how I need to get a job and how I’m not doing enough and how what I’ve been doing my entire college career has been a waste of time.
While many college seniors are enjoying their last spring break on the beach, I was glamping in my parents’ house. Due to the storm that hit us recently, my parents’ town had no power for about five days. The power is back on, thankfully, so the glamping (glamorous camping) has ended.
My spring break is coming to an end too since I am returning to my apartment tomorrow to study for an exam I have next Friday. It’s been pretty chill. On Sunday I went to my step-grandma’s, sister’s birthday party. The food was delicious and it was a surprisingly nice time.
Other than that, my spring break has been low-key. I’ve been primarily doing schoolwork. My thesis is due the Monday after the next, and I’m feeling…not great. I have done some work, which is definitely better than nothing, but I don’t feel like I’ve been productive enough. I’m feeling a bit stressed and the stress is ruining my sleep, so I feel exhausted.
I tried my adaptation of the Virgo Full Moon Ritual in the morning after I did my daily yoga session. I decided to do a Full Moon Yoga flow, followed by stretching because last time I did it, my hamstrings were killing me for several days afterward. Then I did the ritual.
Part of the ritual was to feel and think about what makes you feel like you are on task. I interpreted that as…what makes you feel fulfilled? What goals do you want to achieve, and what can you do more of to help you get there?
The three things that came to my mind were my girlfriend, my blog, and school.
Of a forlorn face
In the grimy window
Of the bus as it creaks along.
I try my hardest to look beyond it
To look at the landscape as we drive along
But the grimy windows don’t seem to permit it.
The white smoke escapes my lips
While black tar enters my lungs
I sigh, in bliss
My head buzzing and ears ringing
Enjoying the silence from the cold evening
Later, I reenter the party
Mingle and mix with everybody
And smile because for this one night,
I’m not lonely
Even later, there are
Dark bedrooms and
Faceless bodies with
Forgettable names but
The absence of a heartbeat.
In the form of a woman
Caramel skin and dark,
A soft smile when her lips say my name
The golden sunlight-
An unwelcome guest
Shines through the cracks
Of the closed blinds
Seeping through the thin skin
Of my eyelids
Making itself known
The sunlight illuminates the caramel skin
Of the woman wrapped in the sheets
Entangled in my limbs
Eventually, I succumb to its insistence
That I arise
I disentangle my limbs and
I welcome the sun
To this new day
Stretching my arms over my body
Then folding over my feet
Bowing in respect
To be alive
© 2018 Vic Romero
All rights reserved.
Welcome to the first official blog post on my new domain! Wow!
I never expected to take my passion for blogging further by purchasing my own domain, but I did it! My supportive and loving girlfriend was part of the process toward believing in myself and taking that leap of faith…the Truth + Dare Podcasts have also been instrumental in me reaching this point.
All of my posts were uploaded from my free WordPress blog yesterday, and then I played with the design, edited my “about” page, and created an email and wham! here I am! I was super excited yesterday to see it all come to fruition…to be honest though, now I’m a little nervous.
Although I’ve mapped out some goals I have for this blog as well as some unique blog post ideas, I have no idea how to create an online presence. Yes, I’ve blogged on different platforms before but they had a social component where almost everyone else that viewed the site was also a blogger…so it was a supportive community. Now I feel like I’m on some island by myself, trying to figure out how I can get back the mainland when I have to create my own boat and/or bridge. I will probably have to get wet. By that I mean…I won’t succeed right away. I may have to do things that make me uncomfortable/nervous to reach my goals. I may even have to reevaluate my goals.
It feels cumbersome researching methods for marketing your blog to gain an audience, considering how I’m now doubting any previous success I’ve had with blogging before. I suppose I just need to refocus the intention of this upgrade.
Unzip These Lips’ Purpose
I blog to express myself; to put language to my feelings and experiences and to help me take action. I want to connect with people that can relate to this struggle as well as to my experiences and feelings. I would like to create a dialogue about issues and challenges we face. A successful blog would consist of several followers that communicate with each other and with me to share ideas related to the topics I write. A successful blog would develop a community. My blog is like a personal lifestyle blog but an intimate one…which makes me unique to other blogs. So I would connect with people through the intimacy I share to help them and to help me.
This is a very long purpose but for now, it is sufficient.
When I finished the second season of the Podcast, “Homecoming,” I played the latest episode of my other favorite Podcast called “Truth + Dare.” The Journey Junkie, who is my favorite online yoga teacher, produces it with one of her best friends. They are both currently live on a boat with their husbands, and I find them to be super inspiring.
Anyway…it was so ironic that the first episode after their break was about Difficult Conversations because I’ve been avoiding a difficult conversation myself. The conversation I’m afraid to have is with my sister, who is a year and a half younger than me, but for some reason, I have a very small backbone when it comes to addressing issues with her. The issue I am having with her right now is how I feel like she completely ignores my girlfriend most of the time. I always give her the benefit of the doubt because 1. I don’t want to confront her and deal with whatever that entails and 2. sometimes it seems like she does acknowledge my girlfriend! But I shouldn’t be like “oh, she said hi to her this time so everything is fine” because she should be showing common courtesy every time, not just when she feels like it.
The negative impact of avoiding a difficult conversation has been manifesting in my relationship with my girlfriend as well as in my overall mental health. My girlfriend and I have been discussing the conversation that I need to have at length, I went to therapy recently to talk about it, and it consumes my mind. I’ve been worrying in the shower that I will never be able to be my authentic self unless I move out of state, away from my family, and rarely talk with them. It’s gotten pretty ridiculous, but it was perfect timing for this podcast to be released!
I didn’t even finish the podcast yet but one of the messages that really resonated with me was a quote that they shared from Elena Brower.
“What you are afraid to say is the doorway to your freedom.”
This isn’t new knowledge for me by any means, especially considering how one of my majors is Women’s and Gender Studies and this theme is critical in our discussions. Plus, this quote closely aligns with my favorite Audre Lorde essay, which is the premise of my blog!
I suppose that being confronted with this specific message again at this time was just because I needed to hear it again. In my WGS seminar yesterday, we talked about how the different contexts for when you’re reading something affects the significance of what you’re reading. For example, if I wasn’t afraid to say anything, then the quote probably wouldn’t have resonated with me as much.
Unfortunately, I am afraid to address my sister and therefore, I am suffering. I must talk to her though because it’s causing so much toxicity in my life that can be avoided. So I’m going to go through one of my DBT worksheets I got from a group therapy session in the summer to think this through. Perhaps this model will be helpful to y’all too.
How to Liberate Yourself By Asking for What You Want
(Based off of DBT handout 5)
Describe the situation.
Express your feelings about the situation.
Ask for what you want.
Explain positive effects of getting what you want and/or the consequences of not getting what you want.
1. So…I will describe to my sister how I feel like she is not particularly courteous with my girlfriend.
2. I will say that it makes me feel uncomfortable when we’re all together and by ignoring her, it hurts me because she is very important to me.
3. I will ask my sister to be more courteous toward my girlfriend because everyone deserves that, and if she had a partner or a friend around, I would be considerate of them.
4. Then I will explain that it would make me more comfortable hanging around with her and like I have a more cohesive identity because she takes an interested in the people that I am interested in.
Some arguments that my sister may have may include that she doesn’t like my girlfriend, that she didn’t realize she was being rude, and/or that she is jealous that I spend more time with my girlfriend than I do with her.
I can counter by saying that it’s okay if she doesn’t like my girlfriend (although perhaps she should consider getting to know her more before making that rash judgment), I just want her to be more respectful and courteous. If she says she didn’t realize, I will ask her to please be more conscious of it going forward, because it upsets me. If she says that she is jealous of my girlfriend and that she wants to spend more time with me, I will respond by saying that…I guess this one is the trickiest one. Perhaps I can suggest negotiating this with her more but reaffirming that it is critical that she be more courteous.
I found this exercise to be particularly helpful! I want to ponder the last counterargument a bit more but otherwise, I feel a little more prepared.
How do you navigate this? By this, I mean the title of this post. Specifically when your SO is the same gender as you are.
I worry that I’m not dealing with this appropriately…lemme explain.
My family knows about my girlfriend and they’ve met her. She’s come to the house several times. They don’t seem to have any objections (believe me, if they did, they would make it known) but they also don’t seem particularly excited about her. I can only assume it’s because she is a woman, but honestly, who knows. Reasons I have come to this conclusion though include:
- They never ask me about how she is.
- They never ask me about how we are.
- They don’t get excited when she is around, whereas I would expect them to get excited if she was a guy.
- My sister barely acknowledges her when she’s literally next to me. Perhaps she feels shy/uncomfortable though?
I constantly worry about how they perceive her, and why they perceive her a certain way. For this reason, I tend to be hesitant to share activities we do together and anything that kids may tell their immediate families about their significant other.
I’m stressed that either 1. they don’t take our relationship seriously and/or 2. they’re just tolerating her because they care about me, but they don’t really like her, or accept her, for whatever reason.
I’ve been considering to bring it up with them but then I don’t want to address it because I’m afraid of instigating a dispute or an intense conversation…I just want them to more openly welcome her and to care about her because I care about her.
Of course, I’ve discussed it with her at length because I don’t want her to feel uncomfortable or bad about anything. She says she fixated on it before but she doesn’t let it get to her anymore…unfortunately it continues to affect me because they are my family.
If anyone has any suggestions for me in regards to how to navigate this, please let me know. I would greatly appreciate it.
I should do this. So should you.
“You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.”
-Max Ehrmann, “Desiderata“
I seem to frequently forget this when I’m pitying myself and inviting anyone close to me to join…but my girlfriend kindly reminded me. She wasn’t being intentional when she reminded me, she was talking about her excitement for life after college (which is the main theme of my pity parties lately), and she said something about things always working out. Which reminded me…things generally, eventually work out for me too. So I should stop throwing these pity parties. Besides, they’re not a good look.
But yeah…the universe unfolds as it should. It didn’t forget about me. I’ve written about this before, several times. There are years of evidence that whenever I feel like my life is going to crash and burn for whatever reason, the universe tends to swoop in and keep me afloat, and I usually am able to even swim too.
So…in regards to this “after-college-job-search,” I’m going to get a job offer! Soon! I’m going to continue to sell myself and be the best I can be and someone is going to eventually come around and love what I have to offer. I am a desirable candidate who is intelligent and who has a lot to offer!
I will keep this in mind when I attend the job fair this week. Wish me luck!